PrairieLEAF
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2019
Location: Weld County, Colorado

Winter Field Day (ham radio)!

Sun Jan 31, 2021 5:01 pm

I just got back from my first overnight Winter Field Day. I think I'd do it again, assuming it isn't too wintry.

Field Day is a ham radio on-the-air contest and emergency exercise to set up stations (ideally using emergency power sources) and contact other participating stations.

The youth auxiliary of the Boulder Amateur Radio Club (BARC Jr) participated from St. Vrain State Park this year. Although the night was chilly, we lucked out that the event fell between snow storms.

I set up sleeping quarters in the LEAF and planned on plugging the EVSE in at the campsite to use the heater, as necessary.

My room for the night:
Image

We set up two high frequency (HF) radio stations, one with a wire dipole antenna strung between trees, and the other using a small vertical antenna mounted to a folding music stand tripod, and both radios were connected to batteries. Although I've considered using the LEAF as a power station, using batteries is more energy efficient and less risky.

Image

Both the 40-meter (7 Mhz) and 20-meter (14 Mhz) band conditions enabled fairly reliable communications with stations in Canada (they had the good sense to be operating from home) as well as the continental US. We didn't make a large number of contacts, but had a lot of fun.

After telling stories around the campfire, I powered up the LEAF and warmed up the interior a bit before cocooning myself into the mummy bag. The electrical box at the campsite had a metal divider too close to the 120 V outlet to accommodate the EVSE, but the cabin pre-warming didn't drop the charge percentage.

I awoke to a frosty 17 F with ice on both sides of the windows--I'll slightly open more than just one window next time. I thought it'd be a great idea to set the climate timer to warm the interior before getting out of bed, but I set it for 7:30 and was ready to get out at 7. Opportunity missed!

Image

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This was a popular activity at the state park:
Image

The state park also has a free Chargepoint level-2 station but I ended up having plenty of charge to get back home.

As fun as it was, experiences like these really make me appreciate my bed at home!
Last edited by PrairieLEAF on Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:35 am, edited 10 times in total.
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

goldbrick
Posts: 1253
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Winter Field Day (ham radio)!

Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:01 pm

Sounds like fun. The photos aren't showing though. Not sure if it's just me or my computer or ?

Steelcity
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed May 13, 2020 5:31 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jun 2013
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Winter Field Day (ham radio)!

Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:38 pm

It does sound interesting, also can't see the pics.
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LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 16911
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Winter Field Day (ham radio)!

Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:51 pm

If I right-click on the word "image," instead of viewing it I get a Google login screen. You may need to make them "public."
Brilliant Silver 2021 Leaf SV40 W/ Pro Pilot & Protection
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PrairieLEAF
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2019
Location: Weld County, Colorado

Re: Winter Field Day (ham radio)!

Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:38 am

Ack--sorry. I tried them again. :?
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

goldbrick
Posts: 1253
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Winter Field Day (ham radio)!

Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:04 am

That did it. Are those people ice-fishing out there? Yikes, I can't image that ice is more than a few inches thick.

PrairieLEAF
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2019
Location: Weld County, Colorado

Re: Winter Field Day (ham radio)!

Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:14 am

Whew, thanks! Ice fishing, indeed! It was alarming to see at first, since the ice nearest us was very thin. They must know where the ice is thicker (but you're right--probably no more than a few inches). There are motorcycle tires tied to coils of rope stashed around the pond edges for ice rescues, and we fortunately didn't see any of them being used!
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

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